Several readers emailed about their “missing” middle class, California surplus tax refunds in mid-2022.

This surplus, one reader reminded us, seemed to be insignificant. The government now estimates the hole will be $25 billion by 2023-24.

“I read that California is billions of dollars in debt,” Terri Neuman said last week. “I see in your post that you have a surplus. Can you explain the facts about the deficiency?”

Looking forward to the future, Gov. Gavin Newsom expects money flows to slow sharply as the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation slows the economy.

“With our state facing lower-than-expected revenue for the first few months of this fiscal year, it’s important to stay on track,” Newsom said.

Millions of employers across the state have suspended hiring and begun cutting wages. It is expected that the public purse will decrease every minute.

But who wants to think about 2023 when there’s money on the horizon and holiday gifts to buy (and maybe bills to pay)?

MCTR began engaging with taxpayers in October. On November 23, the Franchise Tax Office reported that it sent $5,737,037,300.

The agency said it will distribute payments until mid-January, along with remaining debit card balances.

The payment breakdown is as follows:

—Direct deposits issued to qualified taxpayers: 6,955,276

—Debit cards issued to qualified taxpayers: 3,592,026

Depending on a taxpayer’s income, the payment ranges from $200 for some high earners to $1,050 for married couples, filing jointly for tax purposes. depending on the requirements.

Similar to the pandemic-related Golden State Stimulus payment program, MCTR recipients must be California residents and taxpayers to qualify. The state will base these one-time payments on the AGI reported on the 2020 tax return.

It is important to note that the payments and their amount are based on the tax report submitted for the year 2020 – not 2021 – because many late applicants (this year) is still taken care of. If you owed money to the state in 2021, you are behind the distribution list for MCTR.

We asked the FTB to fill in some of the gaps for readers who are said to be eligible but have not yet seen. Andrew LePage, a spokesman for the agency, provided these answers…

Q: Should those who haven’t received their expected payouts wait the entire distribution cycle before breaking down your door? (Seriously: waiting to call?)

A: We ask that you first review the MCTR requirements on the MCTR website and review our MCTR payment schedule. (Go to and look for the box that says “Middle Class Tax Refunds” halfway down the page.)

If someone believes they qualify for a payment, and has waited at least two weeks after the credit card issue date to allow time for it to be sent, they should call customer service at 800- 542-9332 to discuss their situation.

Most direct deposits are issued, so if anyone is sure they qualify for direct deposit, they should call the customer service number listed above.

Q: Has there been a delay in disbursing direct deposit to eligible taxpayers?

A: The live installation was processed according to our schedule and most of them were released on November 14.

However, some returns may require additional review when processing (them). This extends the time for taxpayers to receive their payments and their payment methods.

We update direct deposit and debit card amounts weekly on the MCTR website.

Allowing three to five business days for the funds to appear in the recipient’s bank account, the direct deposit issued by November 14 should appear in the recipient’s account.

Q: Are there any other direct deposit cycles to expect other than the one aimed at those who have changed their bank details?

A: Those who changed their bank information after the 2020 tax return will receive an MCTR debit card according to the schedule on our MCTR website.

Q: When will the FTB website update the share price?

A: We plan to update the MCTR payment numbers every Wednesday (with data up to the previous Friday).

Remember this tip if you get a debit card

In addition to the details from FTB, we received some great advice from reader Bill Hoyland about the MCTR debit card.

Because Bill’s phone number is blocked from calling recipients, activating the credit card is a little difficult, he wrote in an email last week. This is what he said:

“It was a bit of a pain to make it ‘active’. My home phone is ‘blocked’ and cannot be ‘activated’ on it. I didn’t see anything wrong. The activation line stopped on me when I entered my phone number. No reason given, just goodbye.”

Bill tried calling the support number (and a few other numbers) but no one answered, he said.

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